This weekend is the 49th annual Pow Wow at United Tribes Technical College. People have traveled from across the country to celebrate the Native American culture.
While the tradition’s focus is celebratory, the event is also filled with resources for Native American community members.
Native Americans saw a fivefold increase in opioid overdose deaths between 1999 and 2015.
Larysa Thompson works for the Native American Development Center, and knows the difficulties of addiction firsthand.
Larysa Thompson; Native American Development Center: “Struggling to be able to show up in life again, coming out of something that was so dark and painful for me.”
She said it’s organizations like hers that offer hope.
Larysa Thompson”You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to help.”
It isn’t just addiction claiming lives in Indian country. Native women suffer from violence at a rate two and a half times greater than that of any other population in the United States.
Stacey Kartes; First Nation Women’s Alliance: “People are more aware of the situation, it’s always been a problem, but people are paying attention now.”
Stacey Kartes is a part of a group that offers resources to lower the statistics.
Stacey Kartes; “Nobody knows the Native American culture like a Native American person does. We can offer spiritual support that other people can’t offer.”
While celebrating their culture, also educating members to keep it safe.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, click here.
If you or someone you know is dealing with abuse, click here.